You may recall my recent post on Christmas trees being removed from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. My take on this issue had been – why remove the Christmas trees when the Jewish rabbi wanted a Menorah placed next to them? Why not just put the Menorah up rather than overreacting?
Since then, two interesting points have been raised:
A) Many argue that the Christmas tree is a secular symbol as many non-Christians place them in their homes this time of the year. I have spoken with several Jewish people who have informed me that they do not see the Christmas tree as a religious object. Nativity scenes, yes. Christmas trees, no – just cute objects to enjoy. I agree, and still believe the Sea-Tac Airport should not have removed the trees.
B) Perhaps the Menorah should not have been added, because unlike the Christmas tree, it is a religious symbol. Furthermore, one of my Jewish colleagues suggested to me yesterday that he would be offended if a Menorah were displayed in an area of prominence, because there are holidays sacred to him – Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover. To create a demonstration over Hanukkah would be to assign artificial significance to a holiday that he claims many in the Jewish community do not consider to be significant. I won’t comment further (Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry can make Jewish jokes because he’s Jewish, but can’t make jokes about dentists because he doesn’t belong to their group? And he’s labelled as an anti-dentite for doing so?), not being Jewish, but it is an interesting point.
I lack a particularly thoughtful conclusion to this post, other than: green trees are nifty, let’s keep them around, and I advocate the fake tree so we don’t have to cut down the real ones only to throw them away a month later. Another post for another day!